What To Consider When Buying A Dining Table

With meals together being such an integral part of our lives, choosing the right dining table for your household is key.

Spending some time understanding what you actually need will allow you to purchase one that will stay with your family for many, many years.

From making sure that you have enough room for everyone to finding the right model for the style of you room, here's what to consider when buying a dining table.

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Modern Dining Room With Dining Table

Modern Dining Room With Dining Table

How many people you want to accommodate

This might sound like the most obvious question, but keep in mind that you should consider a couple more things beyond the number of household members:

  • Are you planning on having kids? In that case, opting for a larger table will spare you from having to replace it in a few years;

  • Do you regularly have roughly the same number of guests around, such as your closest friends or family members? Then leaving some extra room for them will definitely come in handy;

  • Do you want to be able to host big dinner parties, too? If your dining room is fairly large, then opt for a long rectangular table that will allow you to invite everyone you want.

Dining Table

Dining Table

If you've found the magic number for your household and only occasionally need a few more settings, consider choosing an extendable dining table rather than a much larger one, especially if your dining room isn't too big.

Measure your dining room space first

No point in falling in love with a specific model if it's not going to fit!

  • Start by measuring both the length and width of your dining area;

  • Then, subtract around 60 inches from both in order to leave 30 inches of clearance between the table and your walls or other parts of the room. The numbers that you obtain will be the maximum recommended size for your new table;

  • This will leave enough room for people to pull out their chairs and move around the table, as well as help you avoid an overall cramped feeling.

Scandinavian Contemporary Style

Scandinavian Contemporary Style

Figure out the right shape for your dining table

To do this, we recommend keeping both the number of people and the size of your room in mind.

Square

  • This is the best choice for four settings, as well as a handy option for two or eight;

  • Square tables are ideal for casual gatherings since they don't result in anyone being head of the table;

  • They also work particularly well in square rooms.

Large Square Wooden Table

Large Square Wooden Table

Round

  • Round tables are another popular choice for two, three, or four people. Larger round tables aren't the most space-saving choice, but they'd certainly make a bold statement in a wide room;

  • Plus, by cutting off the corners, they do result in an airier feel and they make it easier to squeeze in an additional guest or two when needed, especially when they rely on a central pedestal;

  • They're also a wise choice for gatherings and meetings where you want to facilitate conversations;

  • Round tables are best suited for square rooms.

Coastal Dining Room Design

Coastal Dining Room Design

Rectangular

  • This is the most space-saving solution for larger households, especially of six people or more;

  • Longer dining tables are popular for large parties as they let the host sit at the head of the table;

  • Rectangular tables are perfect in dining rooms of the same shape.

Open Space

Open Space

Oval

  • Oval tables are a slightly rarer alternative to rectangular options, so keep in mind that you might have fewer styles to choose from compared to more popular shapes;

  • They share the same benefits but complement them with the airier effect that characterizes round tables.

Elegant Interior In Retro Design

Elegant Interior In Retro Design

Consider whether you should opt for legs, a pedestal, or a trestle base

Some of these bases are often more popular with a specific shape, but it's still worth having a general idea, especially if you're torn between two:

  • Legs are the most traditional choice and you can usually find them in tables for four or six. However, keep in mind that they'll usually make it more difficult to introduce an additional chair or two when needed;

  • Pedestals help you maximize seating and they can even make the room feel less cramped. You'll usually find them in smaller tables and especially round ones;

  • A trestle base works particularly well for much longer tables and can include a footrest. They're a wise choice for large households as they give you more flexibility along the two sides, which is why they're often paired up with benches. However, they might be more limiting for the two heads of the table. If you want to use them too, look for a support that leaves enough room for your knees.

Gray Dining Room
Farmhouse Dining Room Design
Modern Dining Room Design
Modern Farmhouse Dining Room Design
Dining Room Design

Choose the right material for your dining table

  • Timeless wood is still the most popular choice for dining tables: it's versatile, durable, and available in several finishes. We recommend opting for lighter ones in smaller or more contemporary rooms, whereas darker finishes work better in vintage and modern settings or where space isn't a problem;

  • A less glamorous but cheaper alternative to solid wood is veneer, consisting of either a thin layer of solid wood or another material printed in a wood finish and glued to a plywood base;

  • Glass is a great alternative especially in modern and contemporary dining rooms or the smallest settings: in fact, it can help make your room appear wider than it actually is;

  • Metal might work better with specific styles like industrial décor. Whether you opt for stainless steel, brass or a painted version, your metal table is guaranteed to be sturdy and extremely durable;

  • Stone or stone-look tables are a heavy but majestic option that could work in the most sophisticated settings. Keep in mind that, with stone being porous, it will absorb stains more easily and that, if it cracks, it's much harder to repair;

  • Plastic or laminate tables are a humbler, more affordable option that can still look the part and might even help you match your palette more easily.

This takes us to the next point…

Luxury Apartment
Loft Style
Solid Wood Dining Table
Rustic Dining Room Design
Glass Top Modern Dining Table
Glass Dining Table
Elegant Dining Room

Keep your palette consistent

Don't think of your dining table as a standalone element, but rather a part of your room that, as such, should blend with it:

  • Is there a color or finish that you can keep consistent?

  • Alternatively, you could consider staple and neutral hues like black, white, brown, or grey. They work in most settings and are likely to continue doing so even if you were to redecorate your dining room in a few years.

Modern Interior Design

Modern Interior Design

Maintain your interior style

As well as your color palette, we recommend looking for a table that matches your décor.

From a specific material to a lighter or darker finish and the style of its base, your dining table can help you reinforce it.

Bright Interior With Plants

Bright Interior With Plants

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